Nov. 18, 1793.
This evening my father has been reading out Gay's Trivia to our great entertainment. I wished very much, my dear aunt, that you and Sophy had been sitting round the fire with us. If you have Trivia, and if you have time, will you humour your niece so far as to look at it? I think there are many things in it which will please you, especially the"Patten and the Shoe black," and the old woman hovering over her little fire in a hard winter. Pray tell me if you like it. I had much rather make a bargain with any one I loved to read the same book with them at the same hour, than to look at the moon like Rousseau's famous lovers."Ah! that is because my dear niece has no taste and no eyes." But I assure you I am learning the use of my eyes main fast, and make no doubt, please Heaven I live to be sixty, to see as well as my neighbours.
I am scratching away very hard at the Freeman Family.*
*i.e. Patronage, which, however, was laid aside, and not published till 1813.
-from The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth edited by Augustus J. C. Hare.